Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Paanch Mishali - The Magic Medley of Five Vegetables


This dish was part of the ‘haathe bhaat’ thali which was served to me as a newlywed. To put it simply, it was one of the first few bites I ate at my newly married home in Hyderabad.

So you now know that Paanch Mishali is a nostalgic side dish for me. Recently recreated by my mother in law, and while watching her cook another thought occurred to me – her recipe totally looked to me like a garbage disposal-style recipe, and no need to get me wrong here. What this means is, you can cook it with totally limp spinach, the discarded green pulp of watermelons, the scraped out skins of pumpkin, and totally ignored green heads of radishes and green legs of cauliflower which are ready to step into the bin.

So you see, Paanch Mishali can be as nutritious as you want with as much frugality as you prefer.

Can’t get a better deal than this.

Panch Mishali 

Ingredients
2 Carrots - chopped
1 Tomato -chopped
2 Potatoes- chopped (optional, add it if you clack two or more vegetables here)
1-2 Fresh sweet radish
1-2 Radish Greens -chopped fine
250 gms Spinach Leaves (or a handful) 
1 cup Pumpkin with skin (cut to small pieces)
1 cup Green watermelon pulp (optional)
1 cup Green cauliflower head (chopped fine) 

Oil and spices
1 tsp Paanch phoron 
2 dry Red chilies 
1" Ginger (crushed or chopped fine)
pinch of Turmeric powder
Salt and Sugar to taste
1 tbsp oil (preferably mustard oil)

Garnish 
Fried dal bori (optional)

Method:

Heat oil and temper it with panch phoron,ginger and red chilies. Once slightly browned add the turmeric powder and the chopped tomato, saute for 2-3 minutes.

Next add all the chopped vegetables and let it cook for around minutes on low heat with adding any water and  closed lid. One the vegetables are semi-cooked, ad the ginger and green chilli paste , including the salt and sugar. Cook till its soft to your liking with  no extra water. 

Take it off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with Dal and steaming white rice 

What is Paanch Phoron : Paanch Phoron is a typically Bengali dry spice mix is used to season many vegetarian dishes. It is a unique mix of five (paanch) spices and lends a beautiful aroma to a dish.
These Five spices are Cumin seeds,Fennel seeds,Nigella seeds,Fenugreek seeds and Mustard seeds


Difference between the Paanch Mishali and Chorchori : Paanch Mishali literally means a medley of five vegetables. Its nearly like a ‘chorchori’  but not totally there as it lacks in begun (brinjal) and shorshe (mustard paste) topping. The missing ingredients help the Paanch Mishali get a bite and crunch. If you are anything like me who likes that bite then this is totally for you.
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